Friday, August 9, 2013

Join Mandy the Mayfly on a High Country Watershed Adventure

Drawing by Carol Hancock,
Master Gardener Volunteer
Have you ever turned over a rock in a High Country stream and seen little insects wiggling around?  Many of those insects are mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies, all of these aquatic nymphs need cool clean water to survive.  Most children love to explore our creeks and find critters that they can identify and observe breathing, eating, squirming, wriggling, and swimming around in the water. 

But how can children learn more about our streams and aquatic ecology without clicking a website?  Children are in luck!  They can get a free copy of  “Mandy the Mayflies High Country Watershed Adventure” booklet to help them learn what makes a stream healthy for wildlife and humans.  

Art by Carol Hancock,
Master Gardener Volunteer
This original High Country based workbook targets students from 3rd -6th grade.  The children’s activity booklet was produced by the Watauga River Partners in collaboration with the Watauga County Cooperative Extension and funding from the High Country Water Media Society, Flanigan and Pipes Land and Commercial Properties, Mast General Store, Brushy Fork Environmental, Footsloggers, Watauga Riverkeeper, Western NC Alliance, SOS Printing, and MountainKeepers  The booklets include 16 pages of activities led by “Mandy the Mayfly” as she teaches the biological basics of our river systems.   Local artist and Extension Master Gardener, Carol Hancock, illustrated the front and back cover of the book which adds a memorable “splash” to the character of the book.

Each child in the 5th grade who attends the Watauga County Environmental Field Days in September will receive a free copy of the activity book. What’s even more special is that the original “Mandy the Mayfly”, Joan Hearn - Watauga River Partner Volunteer- will be handing them out during the field day.  Each child will participate in viewing live aquatic benthic macro-invertebrates (creek critters) with magnifying lenses and id guides through the Watauga County Cooperative Extension station.   Environmental Field Days is a hands-on, experiential education program where students rotate though activity based stations. 

If you are interested in getting a free copy of the “Mandy the Mayfly Activity Booklet” stop by the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Service at 971 West King St.  in Boone.  Or for more information contact Wendy Patoprsty at 828-264-3061. 

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